Lok Sabha elections 2019- ‘South India feels hostility from PM’: Rahul Gandhi on Wayanad as second seat
Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from Kerala’s Wayanad apart from Amethi has been criticised by BJP. In a poll rally on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that Congress is scared to field its leaders from constituencies where majority dominates in terms of voter-base, in a reference to Wayanad which which has a sizeable Muslim population.
At the Congress manifesto release event on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi cleared the air on why he chose Wayanad as his second seat for the Lok Sabha elections. “South India feels hostility from the PM, they feel they are not being included in the decision making in the country. I want to send a message that I am standing with them,” Rahul Gandhi said.
The Congress declared Rahul Gandhi’s candidature from Wayanad on Sunday. “There were many considerations while selecting Wayanad and the foremost one was that it is a tri-junction and borders both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,” senior Congress leader AK Antony had said.
Wayanad, a rural district, has been a Congress stronghold. The constituency was carved out from Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur during the restructuring of constituencies in 2008.
Pressure had been building up on Rahul Gandhi to contest from south India apart from Amethi to boost the morale of the cadre with leaders from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala urging him to select a second seat of his choice in their respective states.
The Congress boss was given the option of Bangalore Central, Bidar and Mysore from Karnataka, Kanyakumari and Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu and Wayanad in Kerala.
With this decision, Rahul Gandhi becomes the third member of the Gandhi family to select a second seat from south India. Prior to him, his grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had contested from Chikmagalur in Karnataka in 1978 while his mother and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi fought from Bellary in the same state in 1998.